Fashion is a definite social indicator and in Dubai, seeing the creativity and diversity that is continuously displayed at Sole DXB —a shopping and hip hop music festival based on urban culture that first launched in 2010 — one can only get excited by the affirmation of the rise of the streetwear subculture in the region. This year, the three-night, two-day global street culture festival is returning for its seventh edition from December 6 to 8, and will take place at Dubai Design District (d3) following 2017’s highly successful Tokyo-inspired event.
While past editions of Sole DXB were influenced by New York, London, and the UAE, this year’s festival will draw inspiration from South Africa while paying homage to the 30th anniversary of the second Summer of Love. For the uninitiated, this is the name given to the period in Great Britain between 1988 and 1989 that saw the explosion of acid house music and raves in the country’s club scene.
“We made multiple trips to Cape Town and Johannesburg, connecting with designers, artists, musicians, creators in each city, learning their stories and digging into their culture,” said Raj Malhotra, co-founder of Sole DXB, in a statement. “We feel that South Africa is a good representation of what street culture looks like when it’s still organic, in cities with rich and complicated histories. South Africa’s recent past has given voice to a new generation of creators, that are forming ideas shaped by race, culture, and identity.”
He added: “With every community we’ve explored, Sole has looked to build a direct bridge between our city and theirs. This exchange of ideas will be showcased through our talks, live music programme, screenings, and presenting brands at this year’s event.”
Sneakerheads can look forward to purchasing footwear and other attire from a slew of sought-after brands showcasing in bespoke booths and pop-ups in the micro-village of cool. Brands include Leaf Apparel, Unknown Union, Almost Gods, 5Pillars, Nor Black Nor White, Shabab International, Precious Trust, and Amongst Few, among others. Meanwhile, footwear brands such as Adidas will be dropping highly-covetable designs throughout the weekend, including Yeezy, Yung Series, Never Made, and Dragon Ball Z. Sneaker aficionados will also have the opportunity to buy, sell, or swap footwear with the region’s leading collectors.
There will also be interactive talks with influential names in design and fashion, free film screenings, performances by international and local artists, and an open, winner-takes-all basketball tournament made up of 11 teams from the region. While the music line-up has yet to be announced, if past editions — which have seen the likes of Run DMC, Pusha T, Teyana Taylor, Skepta, and H.E.R, to name a few — are any indication, you won’t want to miss it. Watch this space.